This book, is a very practical and blunt statement about the part of life people don’t want to think about. People die, and when that happens someone has to take the time and the care to prepare the body.
You will learn quickly if this book is for you or if it isn’t. It is gross, and it has a morbid sense of humor that is obviously needed to get through a job where death is in your face every day, sometimes quite literally. Some of the statements in this book seem almost uncaring but they’re not, they’re just honest and to the point. Many of us have the luxury of dancing around the subject of death, saying things like “they’ve gone to a better place.” Caitlin does not have that luxury as she describes seeing people at their worst and making it palatable for the rest of us.
We open on her shaving her ﬁrst corpse. Yes, you read that right. Someone has to shave dad so he doesn’t arrive at his funeral with a ﬁve o clock shadow. Depending on the bodies condition it might take a lot to make a families last viewing a positive one. But there is a reason for everything and Caitlin will lead you through the process with care.
She will take you on at home pickups and through uncomfortable interacts with families. While she’s explaining the current procedure of handling bodies she will also spin tales of funeral rituals throughout history.
Her story and the past histories of death give you a real feel of how the industry has grown and changed from a personal at home ceremony to a more cold corporate transaction. She also gives you a glimpse of where the industry could go in the future, mushroom suits!
Warning: this book contains cannibalism, dead babies, mortician pickup lines, and details of the embalming process (that includes pointy stuff going into soft bits). I had to put it down a couple of times during the pointy stuff scenes. I was interested but my stomach wasn’t.
However, if you can get past the morbidity and the gore this is an informative, honest and surprisingly fun look at what happens to your body after you move out. It is definitely worth the read.